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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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March 2008
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Topics: empowerment,homeschooling,mindful parenting,Unschooling

You’d actually HAZE your kids?

I’ve been thinking a lot about why millions of parents send their children to school. Before I actually had kids, I was one of those people that believed that school was necessary and inevitable for all children in order to grow and learn everything that is necessary in this world. In fact, my husband and I chose our first house because it was the house we liked the most that was in the best school system in that area. We completely bought into the “kids must go to school” mentality.

Then, I got pregnant.

Everything changed when there was a real person to consider. It wasn’t artificial anymore. All options were real possibilities and I started looking into what all our options were. This started with how and where to birth my daughter, quickly moving to how best to give her nutrients (breastfeeding, then vegetarianism that quickly moved to veganism), eventually leading to how she was going to be educated. [There have been many additional decisions over the years, but these were the big ones that have defined all the little ones.]

What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities.
–R. Buckminster Fuller

Once we woke up to the reality of what school actually is (specifically a ritualistic hazing), it immediately became clear to my husband and I that we could not send our children off to school. So, no school.

If not school, then what?

We had no idea. At that point we took stock of what we did know:

  • School did not work.
  • Attachment parenting did work from birth through toddlerhood (the age our older daughter was at the time).
  • Mindful parenting also worked quite well.
  • Our daughter was already learning just fine and without pressure from us, she knew more than any other kid we’d met her age.

Why not keep doing what did work? We saw no reason not to, so we did. In my research on the legality of our situation, I discovered that what we were doing was called Unschooling — a specific type of homeschooling that allowed the child to learn at her own rate in her own way (also often called Child-Led Learning or Life Long Learning). Since we took the Unschooling philosophy into all areas of our lives (food, chores, sleeping, etc.), we discovered we were actually Radical Unschoolers. Finding the online community of like-minded people made us realize that we weren’t alone.

We don’t haze our children in any way. They don’t go through any rites of passage they don’t choose on their own. We are partners in their journeys, relishing every minute, knowing that everything they choose is uniquely them. They are distinct individuals with their own goals and dreams. I’m impressed with this. Unschooling works every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year! We’ve never had a single moment of wondering whether or not this lifestyle and education choice works. It is proven over and over to us. I’ve never met a single parent with a child in school that has been able to say this bold of a statement.

I have to repeat this:

Unschooling Works!